At least 31 people have been killed in decades-long flooding in northern Turkey where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited on Friday to provide needed support to those affected, authorities said .
“29 people died in the province of Kastamonu, located on the Black Sea, and two in the neighboring province of Sinop,” according to a provisional report from the government agency responsible for natural disasters (AFAD).
An unknown number of people were also missing, said the same source.
The floods, caused by heavy rainfall overnight Tuesday through Wednesday, came at a time when Turkey was just recovering from large fires that left eight people dead and ravaged southern tourist areas.
As a sign of the gravity of the situation, President Erdogan went on Friday to one of the areas hardest hit by the floods, the district of Bozkurt, in the province of Kastamonu, where, in particular, an eight-story apartment building s ‘collapsed.
“Your pain is the pain of all of us. The state stands by your side with all its means, ”said Mr. Erdogan, before attending the funerals of the victims.
Meteorological services forecast continued precipitation over the affected areas for the remainder of the week.